City of York Council has granted outline planning permission to ambitious plans for York Central.

Masterplanned by a team of Allies and Morrison, Arup and Gustafson Porter + Bowman for York Central Partnership, the project represents the most significant urban expansion in the city’s modern history at 46 hectares in size and one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK. Almost matching York’s historic walled core in size, the former railway lands will provide a series of compact residential neighbourhoods and a new business quarter which will enable the city to sensitively accommodate future growth.

York is an important cultural, academic and economic centre in the north of England but also a historic place, with settlement dating back to Roman times, and a pattern of Medieval buildings and urban fabric that survives today.

The York Central masterplan builds on this character and its ‘Yorkness’, unlocking a substantial piece of central brownfield land that radiates from York Railway Station and its railyards. The project celebrates this heritage, with the planned restoration of historic railway buildings, a new central gallery for the National Railway Museum and a new railway park.

There will also be significant investment in infrastructure, with a new western railway station entrance and platforms, enabling HS2 and the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to connect with York. The project aims to deliver up to 2,500 new homes, up to one million sq ft of new Grade A offices and hotel use and up to 6,500 new jobs. Care has been taken to design new connections with surrounding communities, which are focused on sustainable transport whilst also knitting new development into the existing fabric of the city.

‘This is the most significant project to happen in York since the railways arrived in the early 19th century,’ says Jason Syrett, Partner at Allies and Morrison, ‘The entire process of engagement and design evolution has been rewarding since we began work in 2017. We are enjoying learning from York and are hopeful that the masterplan’s new connections and its embrace of the city’s distinct heritage will contribute to the long-term success of the city.’